seam

1) A measurement, used for a variety of commodities.

1419 Custus vitri: Et in iij sem’ et in iij pais’ albi vitri emptis de Johanne Glasman ... prec. le seme, 20s, York

1456-7 pro ij seym salmon de Joh’e Neusom xvs, Fountains Abbey. It is found in charcoal accounts as equivalent to a horse-load, one of three alternative terms for the same quantity: 1567-8 the quarter ys a seame and the seme ys 8 busshell

the quarter ys a horsselode

the dusson ys 12 seme or 12 quarter alle one mesuer, Esholt.

dates 1419 1456-1457 1567-1568

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2) In coal-mining, veins in the rock.

This is a word already in use in the Old English period when it referred to the seam formed when the edges of two pieces of cloth were joined by sewing. A much later example indicates how it came to be used of rock strata: 1687 ‘that which at first seemed to be seams or joynings of the Stones are only veins in the rock’. Coal-mining examples date from that period.

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Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0